New York
New York

November 12, 2008

Assembly Bill 10942: Federalizing Immunization Requirements

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Co-Sponsor Assemblyman Michael Benedetto

Assembly Bill 10942 was introduced on May 7, 2008. There is currently no “same as” bill in the Senate. While A.B. 10942 has been referred to the Assembly Health Committee, no action on the bill has been scheduled in committee. The New York Assembly will likely adjourn on June 24.

HSLDA is very concerned about A.B. 10942 from a parental rights standpoint. There are two issues in the bill which are the primary concern.

First, the bill would require any child born after September 1, 2010 to be immunized with all of the immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thus all immunizations that will be required in New York will come from the federal government, not the New York legislature.

A total of 16 different vaccines are currently recommended by the ACIP for children. The recommended vaccines include immunization for influenza (flu), varicella (chicken pox), and the human papillomavirus (HPV). As some of you know, the HPV vaccine is for sexually transmitted viruses and is recommended for girls between the ages of 9 to 12. The bill would allow for medical or religious exemptions.

Secondly, A.B. 10942 would drastically change when a doctor can treat or prescribe a wide range of products, including vaccines, to minors without the consent or knowledge of their parents. Currently, a licensed or a hospital staff physician may treat or prescribe treatment for a person under the age of 21 without the consent or knowledge of the parent if they are infected with or have been exposed to a sexually transmissible disease.

A.B. 10942 would allow a doctor to treat or prescribe curative or preventive treatment, including vaccines, for anyone under age 18 without the consent or knowledge of the parents where they are infected, exposed to an infection, or at risk of exposure to a sexually transmissible infection. There are no standards as to how much “risk” would be sufficient. Theoretically, a doctor could ask if a 12-year-old girl had a boyfriend and when told “yes”, the doctor could tell this young girl that she would recommend the HPV vaccine to prevent her from getting cancer. The doctor could administer the vaccine without ever getting the parents’ consent and without their knowledge.

It is unlikely that this bill will move anywhere during the remaining time in the current legislative session. However, HSLDA is closely monitoring this bill.

5/7/2008Introduced in the Assembly
5/7/2008Referred to Assembly Committee on Health
6/24/2008Bill did not pass out of committee

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA is opposed to A.B. 10942 as a violation of fundamental parental rights, as they act in their children’s best interest.

Action Requested:
None at this time.

From the New York Assembly website:

“This bill makes technical and operational amendments in six areas of public health activities to: (1) require annual influenza vaccination of certain health care personnel; (2) require vaccination against meningococcal disease for seventh graders and students entering college; (3) change the timing of required tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccinations for children from the sixth to the seventh grade; (4) require certain immunizations for all college students; (5) tie future school vaccination requirements to national standards; and (6) permit the administration of vaccines for sexually transmitted infections to minors without parental consent. These changes will ensure effectiveness of services and increase efficiency, promoting public health.”

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History